Youth & HIV/AIDS Capacity Building - Life Skills Educator

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process

Project Description

Peace Corps Botswana has partnered with the Government of Botswana and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to strengthen Botswana’s response to the HIV epidemic, the second most severe in the world. The purpose of our Youth in Development Project is to assist Botswana youth to be healthy, productive, and active community members effectively contributing to the achievement of an AIDS-free generation.

As a Life Skills Educator, you will be assigned to an elementary, junior high or public high school to strengthen life skills education for students. Life skills education encompasses the development of positive identity, positive communication, decision-making, goal setting, leadership, and emotional health skills in youth, as well as adolescent sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention and gender education. As an integral part of the staff at your school, you will work alongside the guidance and counseling teacher to implement the Ministry of Basic Education’s life skills curriculum, build the capacity of teachers to integrate life skills content into their lessons and co-teach life skills lessons. You will also become involved with after-school activities, such as clubs and sports, and may work with out-of-school youth in the broader community, parents and other organizations addressing HIV prevention for youth.

In addition to life skills education and HIV prevention, you may also tutor students and staff on computer literacy and English. Many Life Skills Volunteers develop or strengthen the school’s library and use it as a base for youth development in English and life skills education. As a Life Skills Volunteer, you may also get involved with youth camps during school vacations and facilitate Literacy training for teachers and students which gives participants the opportunity to explore, learn and think critically about what they read, see and hear.

Please note there are multiple projects in Botswana from which to choose, and you can only have one active Peace Corps application at a time. You are encouraged to closely review each of the Botswana project descriptions and select the one that not only fits your interests, but also best aligns your skill set with the required and desired skills listed in the description. You will have the opportunity in your application materials to tell us if you are open to being considered for other program options within Botswana, outside of the one for which you choose to apply.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working with Youth in Development and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills

• Experience in education/teaching, HIV and AIDS programs, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, working with at-risk youth, and/or leading youth camps

• Degree in education, social work, youth or health-related field preferred

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Trainees receive intensive training in Setswana, the national language, and must attain an “intermediate low” level by the end of pre-service training. Business is often conducted in English, the official language, but true successful service and integration only happens when the Volunteer learns Setswana. The prevalence of English makes language learning a challenge, thus trainees and Volunteers must actively pursue their language learning for success.

Living Conditions

Botswana is blessed with beautiful weather with up to 340 days of sunshine each year! You will arrive at the end of winter, which is windy, sunny and warm. The rainy season follows in October when temperatures start to rise. October to February is the hottest period, spring follows in April and winter begins in May. Summers are very hot, reaching temperatures into the 90s, and winters are cold with freezing temperatures at times. Botswana is an arid country characterized by lack of surface water, low humidity and dry heat. Rainfall is low and the country experiences periodic and prolonged drought.

As a Volunteer in Botswana, you will be assigned to an organization and work a full week based on the hours of the organization. The Government work day is 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. You will be expected to dress professionally and abide by the Government’s dress code if placed in a Government office or school.

During pre-service training, you will live with a local family who will share Botswana culture and traditions, teach you how to manage village life and practice speaking Setswana with you. During your service, you will live in accommodation identified by your organization and approved by Peace Corps. You will have a modest dwelling that may be on a family compound. Volunteers in rural towns may have electricity and running water, while this may not be available in rural villages. You will be matched to your site based on your knowledge, skills and experience. You must be prepared to accept the living conditions at site, as you will be living under the same conditions as the people with and for whom you work. Some sites are isolated with the closest shopping up to 2 hours away.

While Botswana is generally tolerant, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and gender identity are more conservative than in the US. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms, and use their judgment to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during pre-service training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees. It is not a crime to identify as non-heterosexual in Botswana and the decision to serve openly is left to each individual Volunteer. Many LGBTQ Volunteers have served successfully in Botswana.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Botswana: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Peace Corps Botswana welcomes couples serving together in the Youth in Development sector. Your partner must qualify and apply for:

* Youth & HIV/AIDS Capacity Building – Life Skills Educator

Couples will have the same living conditions as other volunteers. Going through the Peace Corps experience as a couple allows for ample growth in trust, confidence, and communication. There will be times when you will both need each other’s support. Understand that you will need to put in an extra effort to be an ally to your partner. Although you will not be able to completely eradicate many of these challenges, they can be coped with and overcome with time, patience, and a most importantly a good sense of humor.

Medical Considerations in Botswana

  • Botswana may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; ophthalmology; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Vyvanse.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified.
  • After arrival in Botswana, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

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